Grocery shopping with your children can be a real challenge. As a military family, many times I have had to head to the commissary to buy groceries with my children in tow. When your spouse is away for a deployment or training, you really have no other choice.
Here are 3 ideas on how to entertain your kids at your military commissary.
Old Fashioned Entertainment: Toys
Bring small toys that your children can play with while sitting in the cart. Make it something that they enjoy and that will keep them entertained. Cars, Legos and dolls work well for this. It might be a good idea to keep a bag of toys in the car just for this purpose.
Helper Entertainment: Give Them a Shopping List
When my oldest was a lot younger and I took him to the store with me, I would give him a “list” and told him to help me get everything on it. This kept him busy and gave him something to do. It can be a great way for your kids to feel like they are really helping you, even when they are too young to do so.
Edible Entertainment: Pack Snacks
Bringing a snack can go a long way when shopping with a child. If they are in the commissary and see food all around them, they are probably going to want to eat too. Bring a little sack of something they enjoy and give it to them when you start shopping. You might want to bring extra in case the shopping trip goes a little long or you get stuck in a line that takes forever. Don’t forget to pack a snack for yourself to curb any impulsive purchases.
You can also make sure to time your shopping trips so that your kids are rested and are less likely to act cranky or upset. Going right before nap time is not the best idea. I know for myself that sometimes you just have to go when you have to go and you just have to work around it. Try to prepare as much as possible and do what you can to keep your kids occupied while you make your shopping trip.
Remember too that having to entertain your children at the grocery store is not going to be something you have to do forever. Your spouse will come home and you can run out and do the grocery shopping without the children. Your kids will get older and be able to really help you with your shopping which will be a wonderful thing.